Diplomats Fall in Sponaugle Championship

Diplomats Fall in Sponaugle Championship

LANCASTER, Pa. – A strong second-half run propelled Case Western Reserve to a 75-66 come-from-behind victory over Franklin & Marshall in the championship game of the 2017 Sponaugle New Year's Tournament on Tuesday evening at the Mayser Center. F&M dropped to 7-4 while the Spartans improved to 5-6. 

F&M took a 35-22 lead into the break and held onto a 14 point, 42-28, advantage at 14:36 in the second half. The Spartans answered and hit another gear, going on a 23-5 run over the next six minutes to take the lead for good. CWR hit five triples in the run and, after a bucket by the Diplomats, outscored F&M 11-2 over the next four minutes for a 13 point, 64-51 edge. The Diplomats countered with a 10-2 spurt to come within five, 66-61, at 2:35, but the Spartans were able to hold off any late surge to secure the win. 

In the first, with the game tied at 9-9, F&M put together a 16-6 run over 10 minutes and took a 25-15 lead with a little more than five minutes left to play. CWR came within seven, 25-18, but Ignas Slyka kicked off an 8-0 spurt that put the Diplomats up 15, 33-18, with 1:46 left in the first.  The teams traded points the remainder of the half and the Diplomats took a 35-22 edge into the break. 

Julius Stoma led all scorers with 21 points on 8-for-13 shooting and Brandon Federici finished with 17 for the Diplomats. Slyka netted eight in the first half off the bench. 

Colin Zucker led the way for the Spartans with 20 points with Javier Alvarez and Sam Hansen each netting 11. Connor Nally chipped in 10 for CWR. 

Stoma and Nally were named to the All-Tournament Team while Zucker earned Most Outstanding Player honors. Jaz Harris from Penn State Harrisburg and Walter Jeter from SUNY Canton were also named to All-Tournament Team. 

The Diplomats return to action on Saturday when F&M travels to McDaniel for a 3:00 p.m. contest.